Proposed Howard County Budget: employee furloughs, slight spending increase

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman released his proposed FY 2011 budget this week, with modest spending increases largely attributable to one-time adjustments to elections operations and a recycling of previously unspent education funds. From the Baltimore Sun coverage:

Ulman would avoid tapping the county’s emergency fund, but would cut most employees’ pay by four days, closing county government between Christmas and New Year’s for the second straight year. County workers would get no cost of living pay raise. Highly paid appointees would lose five days’ pay, and Ulman said he would voluntarily give up five days’ pay and would ask the council members to do the same.

Ulman, who is completing his first term as executive, also proposes closing a $20 million gap in current budget revenues with a series of savings, unspent funds for road resurfacing and surpluses, and $2.4 million removed from a defunct capital project. Ulman also plans to raise Howard Transit bus fares from $1.50 to $2 while cutting service.

“The decision to furlough county employees was the most difficult one we had to make last year, and it was the most difficult decision again this year, but these furloughs help eliminate the need for layoffs,” Ulman said in a statement.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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